Football journalist Tristan Peterson covers Friday night’s game against USF.
Tulsa fell to the University of South Florida Bulls last Friday 25-24, losing in the final seconds of the game.
During the last five minutes of the first quarter, Seth Boomer threw a 14-yard pass to Jarion Anderson for the first touchdown of the game. Nate Walker followed up with a good kick for the extra point.
With a little over a minute left in the quarter, University of South Florida’s Cody Weiss made a 22-yard field goal, bringing the score to 7-3 Tulsa.
TU battled it out with USF and traded possessions in the second quarter. Neither was able to get much of an advantage and advance down the field until Walker made a 34-yard field goal with two minutes left in the half.
USF was the first to score after the break on a 66-yard run by Jordan Cronkrite. Tulsa quickly answered with their own rushing touchdown, when Shamari Brooks took the ball to the house on a 10-yard run on the next possession. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 24-10.
Tulsa tried to run the clock in the fourth quarter, a strategy that ultimately cost them the game. The Golden Hurricane allowed USF 10 minutes of possession time, and that proved to be the difference. On TU’s final drive, they went three-and-out, failing to gain any yardage on the ground against USF’s formidable front seven. Forced to punt and conceding favorable field position, the defense then allowed the Bulls to march down the field. Weiss connected on a 22-yard field goal with two seconds left on the clock, effectively ending the game.
Postgame, junior defensive end Trevis Gipson and redshirt freshman linebacker Zaven Collins were asked about what effect momentum had on the game.
Gipson applied smothering pressure to USF’s offensive line all game. He said that “We came out on fire for the first half and the first five minutes of the second half. We’ve been focusing on that and taking the details to another level. Every down, if we can get them behind that’ll be a plus, and we have a better chance of winning. We need to put the ball back in Boomer’s hands and let him do what he does best. That was the main goal for the whole game.”
Collins led the team in tackles and added 1.5 sacks. He added, “We came into the game thinking we were going to be the best defense they have played all year and will play all year. That was our mindset, but we wanted to be humble about it. We couldn’t play lackadaisical. Seeing that we held them to three points in the first half, that is what we expected and wanted. We were trying to do that for the offense and see that they are pushing the ball down the field while we were holding them to three. That is a big momentum for us.”
According to the team, it is only a matter of time before things begin to connect. They were glad Shamari Brooks was back on the field, but still are missing players like Corey Taylor II and Luke Skipper. Tulsa faces the University of Arkansas next week; it will be the 73rd meeting between the two schools, but the first game in the series since 2012.